After kicking off a historic rally around GameStop stock that has incited the ire of hedge fund tycoons and the SEC, the r/wallstreetbets channel was banned from Discord on Wednesday over apparent hate speech violations.
While some on Reddit were quick to speculate that the server had been taken down by hackers as part of a covert attempt to disrupt their push to drive the stock’s price higher, a Discord spokesperson told Gizmodo that the channel had been banned “for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.” On both Discord and Reddit, wallstreetbets users frequently refer to themselves collectively as “retards” and “autists,” and have been known to deploy the kinds of racial slurs and deliberately offensive language that have become commonplace in 4chan-style posting forums.
Here’s the full statement from Discord:
The server has been on our Trust & Safety team’s radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation. Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin.
Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings.
To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors. We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.
Moments after confirmation of the Discord ban surfaced online, the official r/wallstreetbets subreddit was set to private by its moderators, but has since been made public again. In a new post, moderators for r/wallstreetbets argued that the staggering growth of the community in just a few days’ time had made moderating it effectively impossible, and blamed Discord and Reddit’s software for any shortcomings in cracking down on offensive language.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.